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Full text of "The Letters Of Horace Walpole Vol I"

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and statues, we are not very fond of sights ; don't go a staring after crooked towers and conundrum staircases. Don't you hate, too, a jingling epitaph of one Procul and one Proculus that is here 3 ? Now and then we drop in at a procession, or a high-mass, hear the music, enjoy a strange attire, and hate the foul monkhood. Last week was the feast of the Immaculate Conception. On the eve we went to the Franciscans' church to hear the academical exercises. There were moult and moult clergy, about two dozen dames, that treated one another with illustrissima and brown kisses, the vice-legate, the gonfalonier, and some senate. The vice-legate, whose conception was not quite so immaculate, is a young personable person, of about twenty, and had on a mighty pretty cardinal-kind of habit; 'twould make a delightful masquerade dress. We asked his name : Spinola. What, a nephew of the cardinal-legate * ? Signor, no : ma credo che gli sia guakhe cosa. He sat on the right hand with the gonfalonier in two purple fauteuils. Opposite was a throne of crimson damask, with the device of the Academy, the Gelati ; and trimmings of gold. Here sat at a table, in black, the head of the academy, between the orator and the first poet. At two semicircular tables on either hand sat three poets and three ; silent among many candles. The chief made a little introduction, the orator a long Italian vile harangue. Then the chief, the poet, the poets, — who were a Franciscan, an Olivetan, an old abbe, and three lay, — read their compositions ; and to-day they are pasted up in
8 Miss Berry gives the following     wall   of the   church  of  San Pro-epitaph (from  the outside   of the      colo):—
Si procul d Proculo Proculi campana fuisset, Jam procul d Proculo Proculus ipae foret.
A.D. 1392. 4 Cardinal Giorgio Spinola, Nuncio at Vienna ; d. 1739.
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